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Food for finality: feeding the bereaved and ‘feasting’ the dead


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While death is a taboo subject in most cultures, and surrounded by practices of prayer and purification, it is surprisingly often ritualized through the sharing of food or drink, or both. This article will consider some mythological and religious sources for connections between food and death. Then it will take a cross section of New Zealand ethnic cultures: Māori, Pakeha (European), Pacific, and Asian, and reflect on the symbolism and customs that are involved in the sharing of, or abstinence from, food,
when commemorating the dead. Following on from Fischer’s model of the ‘five P’s’ of ritual analysis, namely performance, persons, period, paraphernalia and place (1996: 57-8), consideration will be given to similarities, differences, and matters of etiquette and faith.

Item Type: Journal article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Creative writing, Death, Food, Ritual, Cultural practices
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
P Language and Literature > PE English
P Language and Literature > PR English literature
Divisions: Schools > School of Media Arts
Depositing User: Gail Pittaway
Date Deposited: 21 Jan 2018 22:32
Last Modified: 21 Jul 2023 06:33

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